The head of London’s
largest business organisation has called on the Prime Minister to urge UK firms
to prepare for the launch of euro notes and coins on 1 January 2002.
"The launch of the euro
currency has major implications for UK firms even if we are not part of the
euro-zone. However, the level of ignorance or confusion among British firms
about what the euro means for them is very high. The reality is that many firms
are unprepared for an event that could greatly impact on them," acting
chief executive of the London Chamber of Commerce Peter Bishop said.
He added that, according to
Government estimates, about 750,000 firms could be affected by next year’s euro
currency launch, but that fewer than 300,000 have done anything about it.
"That leaves around half a
million firms who could lose business through their inaction," he said.
Bishop was speaking ahead of a
debate involving senior business and political figures on whether or not the UK
should join the euro zone.